HOAs need a good reason to tow residents’ vehicles

A Q & A with Barbara Holland RJRealEstate.Vegas, July 10

Barbara Holland

Q: I hope you can help with this issue. My son lives in a neighborhood that has a homeowners association. It recently started tagging and towing vehicles parked on the street. His car was towed yesterday and he is required to pay $400 to get it back. Today, an overnight guest’s car was towed. It would seem to be a real stretch in HOA rules that cars can be towed for parking in front of the owner’s house. Is there legal recourse that you are aware of which can be pursued by the owner to a) cease this practice and b) to get reimbursed for the cost of the tow job. This is a real financial hardship for him right now. Thank you for your consideration. 

A: The last governor’s directive that I have receive stated that residential communities could tow vehicles under Nevada Revised Statutes 706.4477 only if the vehicle is blocking a fire hydrant, a fire lane, a handicap designated parking space (if driver did not have proper handicap tag displayed in the vehicle), posing an imminent threat of causing a substantial adverse effect on the health, safety or welfare of the resident and if the vehicle is clearly marked for a specific resident or the use of a specific unit in the community in accordance with NRS 706.4477 (2b)(4).

Based upon this directive and assuming the son was not in any violation, you should contact the towing company to retrieve the vehicle at no cost. In addition, you should contact his association to find out why they are not adhering to the governor’s directive. Complaints can be made through the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Q: I live in a gated HOA-governed neighborhood with covenants, conditions and restrictions that clearly prohibit the parking of large recreational vehicles on the street. The HOA community manager has acknowledged that the CC&Rs do prohibit this practice. Despite the prohibition, one neighbor insists on bringing his bus-sized RV into the neighborhood, with trailer and all terrain vehicle, most weekends. The vehicle usually arrives on Thursday afternoons and stays for multiple days and is usually connected to his house by an external power line.

I have complained, verbally and in writing, to the HOA and they acknowledge the complaints, but do not take any apparent action. Is there anything I can do to get the HOA to take action?

A: Violations and enforcement of violations fall under the privacy laws. The homeowner would not know what actions the board is taking, as they could be fining the homeowner each week the bus-sized RV shows up in the community. If you want to take this a step further, you can contact the Ombudsman office to have them address your concerns.

Q: We live in a Nevada HOA community. In the past, I have gone through some litigation over a violation that has since been resolved. During that period, it was obvious other home owners had the same violations. I understand the board could not discuss those with me during that time. Is it possible, as a dues-paying member, that I can request a copy of all ongoing violations being investigated within my gated community? Thank you and we really enjoy your column in the RJ.

A: Under NRS 116.31175 (4b), the association cannot provide the records relating to another homeowner. Under section 5, the association can send you a general record concerning each violation of the governing documents other than a violation pertaining to nonpayment of an assessment. The general record must contain a general description of the nature of the violation and the type of sanction imposed. The general record must specify the amount of the fine or construction penalty. The general record must not contain the name or address of the homeowner nor any other personal information that could be used to identify the homeowner, including the location of the home.

Q: My neighbor is complaining to the HOA about our dog, saying it’s not picked up properly and unleashed. The HOA fined me $100. But can they fine me without any evidence? Doesn’t the HOA have to send me pictures, etc.?

A: The answer is yes. Your association should have provided pictures. In addition, it cannot impose a fine unless it has called you to a hearing. If you were fined without being invited to a hearing, the association did not follow proper procedure per the state law.

Barbara Holland is a certified property manager and holds the supervisory community manager certificate with the state of Nevada. She is an author and educator on real estate management. Questions may be sent to holland744o@gmail.com.

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